United States of America – University of South Carolina professor Dr Xiaoming Li has been awarded a US$3.1 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to use big data analytics to identify and predict HIV treatment gaps in South Carolina. With national and state estimates of retention in HIV medical care only slightly above 50%, this research aims to help close the gap in HIV treatment.
Dr Li and his team will use novel machine learning algorithms to study predictors of missed opportunities for HIV medical care utilisation among HIV+ individuals living in South Carolina. Using this data, the researchers will develop profiles of HIV+ individuals based on their patterns of HIV medical care seeking behaviour to help identify gaps in HIV care as well as missed opportunities for reengagement into HIV care.
The project will also examine pre-HIV diagnosis to identify missed opportunities for HIV testing. The researchers’ findings will be integrated into the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control’s Data-to-Care programme and the Ryan White Care programme to improve survival outcomes of care among HIV+ individuals and reduce HIV transmission.